First, GEAS combines area studies research on East Asia with thorough, discipline-based methodological training and strong language and cultural competence. Its training program is interdisciplinary with special emphasis on historically and culturally informed social science inquiry.
Second, GEAS focuses on East Asia as a region. Our training encourages doctoral candidates to look beyond their country of specialization--China, Japan, or Korea--and to view East Asia-related research in comparative regional and global perspective.
Third, our training and research will be organized around a central theme, the study of institutions, that we believe offers a wide range of opportunities to study empirically and analyze theoretically the patterns of modernity in East Asia, their commonalities and connectedness as well as their differences from other regions, while at the same time seeking to generate new theory on this empirical base.
The research program is organized in relation to three interconnected lenses: the origins and change of institutions in East Asia, the effects of institutions and the consequences of institutional diversity, and the interdependence of East Asia in the broader regional and global context.